What do I need to bring?
Please come dressed in casual clothes that allow you to move easily. We normally work barefoot. You might also wish to bring a bottle of water with you. Equipment is not provided so you will ideally need to bring a non-slip mat to work on. A proper yoga mat is best, but any mat will do for your first class if you just want to give it a try. In addition to a mat, a blanket is very useful for warmth, support or padding, particularly in classes with a longer period of relaxation. A yoga block may also help you to sit more comfortably. To help you enjoy the class, please ensure that you will have enough padding to be warm and comfortable when sitting and lying on the floor. The links on the right will help you to find suitable products if you want to go shopping.
I haven’t done yoga before – is that a problem?
All classes emphasise mindfulness over physical ability, and adjustments can be made for particular medical needs. I offer classes for different levels of experience so pick the one best suited to your needs.
- Level 1: Suited to beginners, returners or anyone wanting a gentler practice. Postures are mostly done individually (rather than linked in a sequence) and it is relatively easy for adaptations to be made to suit individual medical needs. Classes may include a short seated practice and relaxation, giving a total of about 15 mins of quiet time.
- Level 2: These classes are still open to beginners but may be slightly more demanding and sometimes include slightly more challenging postures. Alternative options are always offered if you need them.
- Level 3: Classes are aimed at those with some previous experience and will assume a reasonable level of physical co-ordination plus an understanding of how we combine movement with the breath in our practice. Classes include a sun salutation sequence and longer classes include a seated practice and relaxation, totalling about 30 mins of quiet time.
Are there any medical conditions that might affect me doing yoga?
At your first class you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire including a medical declaration. If you are suffering from medical conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, spinal injury, hip, shoulder or knee conditions, heart disease, prolapse or hernia, or have recently been undergoing surgery or other treatment, it would be wise to consult your doctor prior to attending the class. All classes will involve periods of time spent lying down, sitting on the floor and kneeling (on one or both knees) as well as standing up. You are likely to find classes difficult if you are unable to get up and down from the floor easily. If you are unable to kneel it may be possible to give you alternatives for this part of the class. In some classes it is more difficult to accommodate students who are unable to kneel so please contact me in advance to discuss your needs.
Yoga can be of benefit during pregnancy and students new to yoga are best advised to attend a dedicated class – try looking on the British Wheel of Yoga website for qualified teachers in the area. Please note that yoga is not suitable during the first trimester of pregnancy, and therefore it is also wise to avoid the practice if you are trying to become pregnant.
I’m not very flexible…
Although you will often see pictures of skinny models in impossible poses these can be misleading, as yoga is more about how we bring awareness and focus to our practice. Options will be offered where appropriate to cater for all levels of ability, regardless of length of experience, and touching your toes without bending your knees is not necessary. Options may consist of a slight variation to the posture, such as placing the hands in a different position, or at times it may be necessary to do a different posture altogether, e.g. a sitting version instead of a kneeling one.
What will the class involve?
Each session will focus on a different main posture, with gentle warm-up movements and postures to prepare you for the main posture. We usually start lying down and each class will include postures based on lying, sitting, kneeling and standing, with options available if certain positions are difficult for you. There is often a key focus e.g. improving hip flexibility. Movements are usually quite slow and co-ordinated with the breath. At times I may offer a ‘hands-on’ adjustment of your position; if you prefer that I don’t do this, please let me know.
In a one hour class there will be a 5 minute relaxation at the start and finish of the class and some include a 10 min seated practice. In longer classes this quiet period is extended to half an hour, with a 15 minute seated practice and 15 mins spent lying down.
Will it hurt?
Yoga should be an enjoyable experience! You can expect to feel muscles working and stretching but if a movement hurts, particularly if a joint hurts, please stop at once as it should not be painful. If your breath becomes strained you may be doing too much. You can rest at any time in the class; please don’t wait to be told to stop if it doesn’t feel right for you.
Please arrive on time!
At the beginning of each class we will spend a few minutes ‘centre-ing’ ourselves, in preparation for the session ahead. This chance to put aside the worries of the day and focus on the here and now is an important part of the session. If you know you will be late, you may wish to send me a short text that will show up on my phone’s home screen. You will need to knock or ring the bell on arrival, as the door will be locked (for security) once we start. For obvious reasons, I won’t be able to answer calls when I am teaching.
I’m expecting an important phone call…
The yoga class is a way of taking some quiet time out from a busy life and I would be grateful if you could ensure your phone is switched to silent or off at the start of the class. If you need to be available for an urgent call you could set your phone to vibrate and place it on your mat so you can answer as quickly as possible.
I would like to bring my child to the class…
The requirements regarding the acceptance of under-18s into an adult yoga class are becoming increasingly complex and I regret that I can no longer accept students who are under 18. If you contact the British Wheel of Yoga via their website you should be able to find a local teacher who specialises in children’s yoga classes.
Where exactly am I going?
Click here for venue information and travel options.
What if the class is cancelled?
Weoley Hill Village Hall: These classes may be affected by a personal emergency but are unlikely to be cancelled due to bad weather. If it is necessary to cancel and I can give more than 24 hrs notice I will email regular students. If I am cancelling with less than 24 hrs notice I will try to text you.
Friends Meeting House classes: These classes may be affected by a personal emergency but are unlikely to be cancelled due to bad weather. If it is necessary to cancel and I can give more than 24 hrs notice I will email students due to attend the class affected. If I am cancelling with less than 24 hrs notice I will text you. Please check out my booking conditions for details of cancellation arrangements here.